Making a List – Checking it Twice

December 10, 2013

Distracted Driving Task Force

Hartford, CT – State Senator Toni Boucher (R- Wilton) Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee and member of the Task Force on Distracted Driving says during this busy holiday season residents should remember new rules of the road when it comes to distracted driving.

“The hustle and bustle can mean drivers may forget the new laws regarding distracted driving,” said Sen. Boucher.

At an informational hearing on Monday in Hartford, the task force discussed several laws recently enacted that could benefit drivers both young and old.

  • Do not type, send or read a text message with a hand-hand mobile telephone or mobile electronic device while you are driving.
  • Breaking the cell-phone law can result in a $150 fine for a first offense. A second offense can result in $300 and $500 for each violation after that.
  • If you are under the age of 18 years old it is illegal to use a cell phone or mobile device at any time – even with a hands-free accessory.
  • Motorists convicted of distracted driving will have a point added to their license, and their insurance company is also notified of the infraction.
  • For more information visit

In the meantime, the state Department of Transportation, the Department of Motor Vehicles and other local and state law enforcement agencies are pursuing a variety of methods to reduce the impact of distracted driving. The DOT is conducting a federally-funded anti-texting crackdown in Danbury and surrounding towns, “Phone in One Hand, A Ticket in the Other.” Results from the program are expected in the coming weeks. State police are also in the process of developing new procedures to record distracted driving as a contributing factor in traffic accidents, thereby giving law enforcement a more accurate count of traffic injuries and fatalities.

The task force also discussed possible future improvements to legislation and policies against distracted driving, such as:

  • Adopting special texting zones, with signage along CT highways directing drivers to rest areas where they can use their mobile devices.
  • Revisiting current distracted driving laws to keep pace with technology and make sure police have the authority to enforce these laws no matter the source of the distraction.
  • The possibility of lowering the fine for first time distracted driving infractions and increasing the fines for repeat offenses in order to put a greater focus on habitual offenders.
  • Putting a greater emphasis on the risks and consequences of distracted driving in mandatory driving classes and DMV tests to make sure that young drivers are aware of distracted driving laws.

“Distracted driving is an issue of increasing concern in the state and nationally. As technology advances more cases of distracted driving resulting in accidents and fatalities are occurring, ” added Sen. Boucher. “I look forward to working with the members of this task force in creating a safer environment for drivers on our roads.”

The task force is expected to recommend ways to combat distracted driving and submit legislative proposals to the Transportation Committee by January 1, 2014. In an effort to meet that deadline, the task force has scheduled its next meeting for December 17th at 11:30 am.